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Newport Beach Police Department
Tuesday April 4th, 2017 :: 05:47 p.m. PDT


Press Release: Arrests Made in Arson Investigation

Arrested:  Juvenile Male, 16-year-old resident of Newport Beach
                Juvenile Male, 15-year-old resident of Costa Mesa

Original Incident
On Friday, November 11, 2016 shortly after 4:30 a.m., the Newport Beach Police and Fire Departments were notified of a fire at Ensign Middle School.  The first police officer on scene observed that the school’s gym was engulfed in flames.  Personnel and apparatus from the Newport Beach Fire Department, Orange Fire Department, Orange County Fire Authority, and Garden Grove Fire Department responded to the location and knocked down the main fire within 20 minutes.  Because the flames had spread into a wall chase and then up into the attic space, extended fire attack efforts lasted approximately one hour. 
In total, 20 firefighters were involved in fighting the blaze, which was contained to the area of the gym, girls’ locker room, and physical education offices.  No injuries were reported during the incident.  Students were not expected on campus Friday, due to the Veterans Day holiday.
Fire Department personnel reported that the circumstances of the fire appeared to be suspicious and an arson investigation was initiated.  NBPD Detectives documented instances of vandalism to the school that were not present when classes were dismissed the previous afternoon. 
Arson Investigation
Police and Fire Department personnel conducted a thorough joint investigation into the arson incident.  Police Detectives were able to pursue a lead which led to the arrest of two male juveniles for felony Burglary, Vandalism, and Recklessly Starting a Structure Fire.  The juveniles were taken into temporary custody by NBPD personnel on Monday, April 3, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. in the city of Newport Beach.  They were booked at the Newport Beach Jail and ultimately released to their parents.


Newport Beach Police Department
870 Santa Barbara Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Emergency: 9-1-1

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